Twenty Years of Payments Innovation for Shift4

  • Shift4 Corporation
  • 02.05.14
Shift4 Corporation is celebrating 20 years of payments industry innovation and merchant advocacy.

The Shift4 story began in the early 1990s when the Shift4 founders, who were then running a successful accounting software business, accepted a challenge to help a customer integrate her new credit card processing system with their accounting software. After months of research, they came up with a solution and found themselves at the ground floor of a new industry – online payment processing.

“You could say that Shift4 started as a customer service experiment gone very, very right,” said Dave Oder, CEO of Shift4. “And I’m happy to say that 20 years later, our core group is still together and we’re still innovating and delivering new technologies to our merchant customers.”

That continued innovation over the past 20 years has kept Shift4 at the forefront of the payment processing industry that they helped to pioneer. Shift4 was the first company to offer enterprise-wide batch auditing for companies with multiple credit card terminals, the first to release a single payment solution that covered every merchant type, the first to bring tokenization to the payments industry and the first solution to tokenize reservation data before it reached the merchant environment.

“We were also the first member organization of the payment card industry security standards council,” said Kathy Oder, the company’s COO. “We sent in our member dues before PCI even had a bank account set up to accept it.”

Despite their early enthusiasm for PCI, today, many of Shift4’s technologies are aimed at helping merchants reduce the influence the PCI Council has over their business. Shift4’s solutions of point-to-point encryption (P2PE), TrueTokenization®, 4Go®, i4Go® and 4Res® combine to remove all credit card data from the merchant environment, drastically reducing what merchants have to do to be compliant.

Today these technologies are employed by more than 24,000 merchants to secure card data at nearly 100,000 endpoints. Annually these merchants process a combined $50 billion worth of transactions through Shift4’s three secure data centers.

“I remember the days when Shift4’s connectivity consisted of a single digiboard 16-port serial modem,” said Steve Sommers, SVP of applications development for Shift4. “It was such a step up when we built out our first data center – complete with a whopping eight servers.”

Today Shift4 has hundreds of redundant servers, each with multiple direct connections to dozens of Internet service providers. This gives Shift4 merchants average transaction times of less than two seconds and an annual uptime of more than 99.98 percent.

Despite the exponential expansion of their offering, Shift4 is proud to note that they have never increased their pricing to merchants.

“We started out charging pennies per transaction for the best service and technology available; well, that’s still what we provide – so why change what we charge?” said Stephanie Stowers, SVP of customer service.

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